I am delighted to announce that Ruth Wilson Gilmore will be joining us on October 19th at 9 AM (Sydney) / October 18th 6PM (New York) to discuss her book Abolition Geography for the 5th instalment of our online seminar series, Radical Anti-Racism Today: New books in abolitionist, anticolonial, internationalist antiracism. She will be one conversation with abolitionist activist, writer and story teller, Gunditjmara woman, Tabitha Lean.
About the Book
Gathering together Ruth Wilson Gilmore’s work from over three decades, Abolition Geography presents her singular contribution to the politics of abolition as theorist, researcher, and organizer, offering scholars and activists ways of seeing and doing to help navigate our turbulent present.
Abolition Geography moves us away from explanations of mass incarceration and racist violence focused on uninterrupted histories of prejudice or the dull compulsion of neoliberal economics. Instead, Gilmore offers a geographical grasp of how contemporary racial capitalism operates through an “anti-state state” that answers crises with the organized abandonment of people and environments deemed surplus to requirement. Gilmore escapes one-dimensional conceptions of what liberation demands, who demands liberation, or what indeed is to be abolished. Drawing on the lessons of grassroots organizing and internationalist imaginaries, Abolition Geography undoes the identification of abolition with mere decarceration, and reminds us that freedom is not a mere principle but a place.
About the speakers
Ruth Wilson Gilmore is Professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences, and American Studies at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, where she is also Director of the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics. She is the author of Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California. Honors include the American Studies Association Angela Y. Davis Award for Public Scholarship (2012); the Association of American Geographers’ Harold Rose Award for Anti-Racist Research and Practice (2014); the SUNY-Purchase College Eugene V. Grant Distinguished Scholar Prize for Social and Environmental Justice (2015-16); and the American Studies Association Richard A Yarborough Mentorship Award (2017).
Activist, poet, storyteller, Tabitha Lean is an abolition activist determined to disrupt the colonial project and abolish the prison industrial complex – and she’s fucking angry, channeling every bit of that rage towards challenging the colonial carceral state. Having spent almost two years in Adelaide Women’s Prison, 18 months on Home Detention and 3 years on parole, Tabitha uses her lived prison experience to argue that the criminal punishment system is a brutal and too often deadly colonial frontier for her people. She believes that until we abolish the system and redefine community, health, safety and justice; her people will not be safe.